Credit for Prior Learning

Bemidji State University follows the Minnesota State policy regarding assessment of prior learning for academic credit. The purpose of this policy is to provide students with opportunities to demonstrate university-level learning gained in non-credit or experiential settings.

View the current Minnesota State CPL policy

A student who has been fully admitted to Bemidji State University may request credit in the following situations:

Standardized and External (non-BSU) Exams

Standardized proficiency examinations are recognized by many BSU departments and include:

No course may be repeated or grade raised by such an examination. Standardized exam credit transfer requires an official transcript from the testing authority in most cases. See our Sending Transcripts page for more information.

Special or Internal Course Exam (for a specific BSU class)

Degree-seeking BSU students may choose to “test out” of taking a class, for a subject in which you already have a high level of skill or knowledge. Requests to take a special, comprehensive examination must be made to the course instructor. No grade may be raised or course repeated by such an examination. Consult with the course instructor and/or faculty advisor to see whether a special exam is offered. Not every department offers special test-out exams. Nominal fees for preparing and evaluating exams, and awarding credits apply. Use the Special Exam Request form to start the process.

Evaluated Prior Learning (portfolio review)

Prior non-college and experiential learning may be the result of a variety of life experiences, such as continuing education, work experience, or individual study. University credit is not awarded on the basis of prior/work experience alone, but for the achievement of documented college-level knowledge and/or skill.

The methods of determining either recognition or university credit are predicated on prior learning that is considered to be at a university level. Each department determines the criteria, if any, which if satisfied, will result in the awarding of university credit. The departments have the prerogative of determining which courses, if any, may be evaluated for non-college or experiential learning. Not all courses have an equivalent non-college or experiential learning counterpart. *Note: Some BSU departments do not evaluate prior learning requests, but will consider standardized tests (CLEP, etc) and course test-outs for required major course substitution. Check with the department chairperson in your major.

A student requesting prior learning credit must be degree-seeking and fully admitted to a BSU academic program. Use the following form to start the request/evaluation process:

Options for Veterans

BSU’s Veteran’s Assistance Center is the place to begin if you have learning experiences from your service to our country. The Resources page will help you get started, but we encourage you to work with the very helpful folks at Distance Minnesota as well. They are Minnesota State’s premier veteran’s education resource and support center.